Giant Canadian flag proposed for Windsor's waterfront

A local lawyer and group of friends propose to erect a giant flagpole and fly a huge Canadian flag at the foot of Ouellette Avenue.

Lawyer Peter Hrastovec says the flag will be something of a beacon

Dan Beaudoin, known as Canada Dan, supports the idea of a giant Canada flag in downtown Windsor. 0:58

A Windsor lawyer has a plan that's should draw attention — from both sides of the border — to the city's waterfront.

Peter Hrastovec and some of his friends propose to erect a giant flagpole at the foot of Ouellette Avenue, with the maple leaf flying high over downtown.

Hrastovec said the pole would be 45 metres, or 150 feet, tall. That's the equivalent of a 15-story building. The flag will be 20-30 square metres, or 65-100 square feet.

He's been thinking of the idea for a decade.

"It's going to be something like a beacon, that you can see from a long distance, not just across the border to our friends to the north of us, as we say, but up and along the riverfront," Hrastovec said.

Hrastovec said the project would cost $250,000. He is seeking private donations to pay for it.

Hrastovec says the city will be asked to provide the land for the flagpole, but no money.

"It's not so much flag waving, as it is pride in our country. We're coming up in a couple years on the 50th anniversary of this wonderful flag of ours that's entirely recognizable throughout the world," Hrastovec said. "Why shouldn't we be proud of it and be proud of the fact that Canada is a place that has created opportunities for all of us."

Hrastovec is a hobby photographer who snaps shots of Canadian flags wherever he travels.

"You can never have too many flags," he said.

According to Hrastovec, the flag will enhance the view on the riverfront. He wants some seed money in place and get started right away. He wants the flag up by Canada Day.

"It would be a delight to get it up by Canada Day," he said. "I'm not going to say yes or no."

Dan Beaudoin, who is known as Canada Dan in his Lincoln Road neighbourhood, loves the idea.

Beaudoin's home, painted red and white and adorned with flags and maple leaves, is known as the Canada House.

Inside, his house has Canadian-flag themed knick knacks, decorations, even flooring.

"I’m very patriotic and love my country. My first reaction was ‘wow, what a great idea. I love it,'" he said of Hrastovec's idea. "I think Canadians are patriotic on the inside, but Americans show it more on the outside. That flag will make up for lost time."

Beaudoin gets emotional talking about the flag.

"It’s freedom. I look at the flag and I think of our veterans and I think of our troops and I think of our fallen," he said. "It’s freedom.

"I’m very patriotic and love my country."